Blue and Yellow

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Vlad Gerasimov 24 March 2022
Since the beginning of Russian war in Ukraine, a lot of people I follow expressed their feelings and thoughts in words much better than I could.

I'd like to take an opportunity and express my feelings - this time, not only as  a picture, but in words as well.

First of all, my view is very simple and seems obvious. This war is  a tragedy and a crime. People die, cities are destroyed, and there is  no excuse for that. My thoughts and prayers are with Ukrainians.

Another tragedy, less visible from outside, is the self-destruction of Russia, the country I called home until two weeks ago.

The freedom quickly becomes the past - people go  to jail for publicly using the word "war". Border closing seems only a matter of time. The extreme sanctions and isolation are destroying the processes in all aspects of everyday life. The forecasts mention poverty, joblessness and high crime rate.

Being able to escape, as someone mentioned in  my feed, is  a priviledge. A tiny percent of Russians can afford it. I must say I'm probably very lucky, it was much easier for me and my wife to escape than for most other people:

• I have several small freelance projects running that provide some income from outside of Russia;
• I've traveled a lot, and moving to another country is not as stressful itself;
• even within Russia, we became used to changing cities 1 or 2 times a year;
• we were actually just thinking where to spend this summer, hehe.

OK  I said I'd express my feelings.

I feel lost. I lost homeland, and I honestly don't think I will be able to return in any foreseeable future.

Once again, it goes without saying - what happens in Ukraine is  a terrible tragedy. But I have no doubt that peace will return to Ukraine, and it will be re-built. The whole world will help.

For Russia, however, I see no future. It will inevitably adopt to isolation and dictatorship, and stagnate, becoming the largest North Korea in the world.

I feel guilty and ashamed. I know I don't need to, but I do. Quoting Alexander Malofeev, a talented pianist whose concerts have been cancelled - "every Russian will feel guilty for decades because of the terrible and bloody decisions that none of  us could influence and predict".

I feel useless and exhausted. I know it's temporary, but I  do feel it. I hope to continue drawing anyway, though. Even if  it feels to make less sense now.

Let me know your feelings in comments! I think I  am ready for angry comments, but I'll appreciate if there are less of them.
Add a comment
Marie-Lucile Roche 24 March 2022
Imagine there's no heaven It's easy if you try No hell below us Above us, only sky Imagine all the people Livin' for today Ah Imagine there's no countries It isn't hard to do Nothing to kill or die for And no religion, too Imagine all the people Livin' life in peace You You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us And the world will be as one Imagine no possessions I wonder if you can No need for greed or hunger A brotherhood of man Imagine all the people Sharing all the world You You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us And the world will live as one Source : LyricFind Paroliers : John Winston Lennon
Ulf Molkentin 24 March 2022
Great that you share your thoughts with us. Since I've been following you and your art for a very long time, I'm happy that you and your wife were able to get out of Russia and wish you that you can slowly build a new home with a future where you are right now. The many sad thoughts you describe are probably part of it. It's not just the Ukrainians who are fleeing, but also many intellectual and critical Russians. I wish you strength and confidence. Please don't stop painting. Best wishes Ulf
Aaron 25 March 2022
I have followed your site for more than 10 years. your artworks inspired me a lot. Grateful to read your feelings and thoughts about this war. Prayers goes to you and every victim of this war. I am a Chinese Pastor from Communist China, Russia's bloody partner in this evil war. also feel guilty and ashamed.
Aaron 25 March 2022
Psa 121:5 The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. 6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. 5 保護你的是耶和華;耶和華在你右邊蔭庇你。 6 白日,太陽必不傷你;夜間,月亮必不害你。
Roberta Hudgins 25 March 2022
I cannot imagine what families are going through everyday in Ukraine and Russia. My prayers are with all of the innocent people and I hope that peace will come soon.
Baby Bone 25 March 2022
Vlad, I have a feeling people who love your site, (e.g., me), are all peace loving and kind hearted (I'm trying to be one), so I don't think anyone will write any angry comments. I admire the courage of the citizens and soldiers from Ukraine side, and feel bad for the soldiers and people of Russia. I have been praying for Ukraine since the beginning of the war, now I know that I should keep the Russians in my prayers too. Aaron, will keep you in my prayers too - it takes a lot of courage to be a Pastor where you are. Sometimes I can't help but thinking, is the end of the world coming? I love the bible versus you have quoted.
murat 25 March 2022
Carla M. 25 March 2022
Beautiful!!! Love it
arisworks 25 March 2022
Vlad I’m happy to see you are opposite to the war. I suppose that It would be very difficult to live your home. I can’t imagine how difficult and dangerous It would be to form an opposite opinion to the aggressive politic of war. Please, don't feel guilty, this war It’s not yours. Your feelings are very obvious from your new artwork. Wish you good luck!
Teresa 25 March 2022
Your art is the reflection of what is in your heart…and it is very needed at this difficult period of time…I pray for the brave people of Ukraine and the brave people of Russia who see the stand up for Justice.
Mar 25 March 2022
Thanks so much for sharing your feelings, Vlad! I send you and your wife unconditional love and light to brighten your hearts and let hope sprout. I'm not sure whether I have the right to tell you that behind every terrifying curtain there may be good things growing that we can't see yet. Lots of love, Martina
Aly 25 March 2022
Hi Vlad, Thanks so much for sharing your feelings with all of us! I too am sad about all of this and wonder daily what small things I could do to help. I have both Russian and Ukrainian friends, even though I don't live close to either place. You say you are sad for Russia's future. COULD you PLEASE draw something that shows the aftermath and rebuilding of BOTH countries? Russians and Ukrainians being friends once again after the aggression is left behind? It may be a candy cane view; but we need positive outlooks even if they start out as fantasy. Sometimes positive visions can become positive reality. Thanks for your art. Hug your friends and value them. You are making a difference for good.
Eugen Luca 26 March 2022
Why angry comments ? You expressed your feelings as a human being. We are all mourning for what happens in Ukraine but I believe (and hope ) that most of us will understand that the russian people are not to blame for all this. I've lived through something similar and I urge everyone to be kind and considerate. It is true that the tragedy happens in Ukraine,but because of a madman,hard times will also befell on the russian people. I hope that you and your family will be safe wherever you go and that this madness will end soon.
Derek Christenson 26 March 2022
That's heartbreaking! Thank you for sharing your feelings in this trying time. I admire you for your courage in moving on! With the rise of nationalism (again) around the world in recent years, I think many of us have been wondering if (or when) that moment might come for us, too. Hopefully this terrible war will be the act that awakens all those who are fooled by the lure of such leaders, and perhaps the future for the world is a much brighter place that we all fear! Stay safe!
Chris 26 March 2022
The problematic of war is still present in the 21st century. What lies behind it however, is still what should trouble mankind. We (humanity) are evolving technologically, but we are having a drawback when it comes learning for the past. There were always two reasons , why wars were occurring. Borders and Power.Remove the first and crush the second. We don't need these anymore, if we want to evolve even further, neither do people have to die because of it. Inevitable necessity that needs to vanish.
Gyula 26 March 2022
Beyond the pain and grief of loosing brothers and sisters, homes, countries, beyond the shame and guilt for what “our” political leaders do, there is light. Paradoxically human nature shows its best and sheds its worst side when evil roams. You see courage, compassion, love, generosity. Why we need disaster to wake up, I do not know. Peace
Kelcey 26 March 2022
From my place in a peaceful and secure country on the other side of the world, I would never claim to truly understand how incredibly difficult it must be for Ukrainians and Russians such as yourself at this time. What I do know Vlad, is that for many years now your art has been a beacon of creativity and joy, and has bought light and wonderment into our lives. Thank you for sharing your thoughts as well as your beautiful art.
Michele 27 March 2022
From the U.S., I'm sending you love and wishing you peace.
Hans-Hasso Stamer 28 March 2022
First I only read the first sentences of your statement, so I was afraid to see you in jail soon. But luckily you were able to escape from Russia. Don't feel guilty, it's better for the world to be enriched by your wonderful artwork than looking @ you behind bars. Thank You for your latest graphic art - moon, sun, Ukraine - it makes me goose flesh. Simply beautiful.
Joon 28 March 2022
Stay safe, healthy, and happy Vlad! I've been a huge fan of your work since college (13~14 years ago). I think I paid a fee once for access to your contents and have always thought if there could be another way to support you. I'll buy some stuff from your Shop and let us know if there's another way to support you in these difficult times.
Maikel 28 March 2022
Dear Vlad, glad to hear you are ok and it is heart-warming to read the comments here. The image you posted supports the message fully for me. In truth, I was hoping for something of this kind from your side and again, as so many times in the years since I enjoy visiting your site, it puts me into thinking and offers a place where I can feel alright instead of alone with my thought and feelings. I hope the Ukrainians in the very near future can feel the same. I also wish for people like yourself and Aaron that there will be no more need to feel ashamed for the actions of others.
Jack 1 April 2022
Hello Vlad,I'm from China and I've been following you for about 10 years now and really like your illustrations. China and Russia have good international relations, but not everyone thinks so, and for some well known reasons I can't make personal comments freely on the internet, but I support you, we all love peace!
Nicolas Hainaux 1 April 2022
I hope you won't feel ashamed too long, you do not deserve this at all. We live a terrible time right now. Understandably, it makes you feel lost. It must be so special to feel having lost ones' homeland. I don't know if it's soothing in any way to consider oneself citizen of the world. Also, you feel drawing has lost its sense. I do not see how it could be more useful than ever, though. It reaches the humans hearts. A lot of humans need it more than ever. I am happy you could escape! Take care!
Margit JUHOS 3 April 2022
Спасибо, Влад, за ваалпапер тоже, но прежде всего за твои мысли. Не вини себя за то, что вы русский! Лучшая часть мира знает, что русский народ не эквивалент вождем России, что русский народ страдает и, к сожалению, будет страдать от этой войны. Как страдает украинский народ, так и будут страдать многие за пределами России и Украины. Но именно поэтому мы выживаем и пытаемся построить лучший мир после этого.
Rafal 4 April 2022
I am from Poland and a huge fan of your artwork for more than a decade already. Please continue your amazing work, my friend - you are not only a great artist but also a great human. Love and peace will prevail over evil and destruction - we can fight it together by helping other and spreading good.
Dim 4 April 2022
A huge thank you from Ukraine, Vlad! From your works I've always felt that you're a man with a kind and big heart.
Arnaud Desombre 4 April 2022
Hi, I'm happy to ear that your wife and you are fine. I can hardly imagine what it feels like to be in your situation, because even if I'm not particuly proud of my country on some points, I can still happily call it home, and I'm too young to know what it's like to leave in a country who did shitty things in war (it leaves a bad taste when thinking about it, but I had the chance to learn about it only throught history books). All I can say is may be try to focus on the good parts, past and present and keep being as good as a human being as you can. That being said, be careful because we all know that even if most people understand that this is just Putin's war, some may be hateful against expat likes you and this is the last thing we need right know. Russians are also victims in this conflict. I wish you well.
Irina 16 April 2022
Wow! It is beautiful girl and picture
M Brown 30 April 2022
I too, am sad about this war; any war really, but this is the one in the current forefront. I’m sad for loss of lives, freedom, loss of country. I am praying for peace to come.
Vincent Leung 1 September 2023
Appreciate all your honesty and the courage share your feelings about the war, Ukraine and Russia as a Russian